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Subject: Turn on a Dime Dead
In the true spirit of what the Dick Didn't Pick series is all about, this show represents a spot on perfect example of what Dick truly would have picked imo. It’s got it all, and a second set for the ages. Keith has a monstrous night and seemingly pushes Jerry the whole time – with an awesome effect I might add……It reminds me a little of 11/17/72 in that way. This is also one weird kinda night for Phil because he definitely gets chunky in several spots, like during his solo in Eyes – but on other tunes you can hardly hear him. Billy’s work behind the kit is the true highlight here, as he is having a career type night.
The setlist is essentially perfect for my taste. The first set opens with a perfect BIG RR and never really lets up. HCS and Cumberland are absolute top notch, upper echelon tunes. El Paso Is the best I’ve heard, there is no doubt in my mind. The work Jerry does, the scales up and down sounding totally effortless and at the perfect level so they he doesn’t interfere with Bobby, is remarkable. China>Rider is even a little Veneta-ish sounding to me. Yea it’s that good, and so is the first set.
The second set includes an 80 minute, jazzy Truckin’ Triple decker TOO chunk that needs to be heard to be believed…..I think you gotta fly the whole damn chunk uninterrupted to truly hear why I think Dick would have(and should have) picked this show. It’s absolutely remarkable imo. So structured in some spots and jazzy-improve-mania in others. Billy’s offbeat work in that jam after Truckin’- into that maze of a first and second TOO is so wonky in spots but always, somehow, keeps flowing. The shit is crazy....You can hear Keith using the wah during the first TOO in unison with Bobby’s rhythm at around 2 min or so, at least that’s what I think it is. I shake my head in disbelief every time I hear it. The Rat on the way out is unreal…This show is in my top five for ’73 and I have no idea why they have not released this beauty officially yet. I loved it since the first time I heard it and still listen to it every fall.
Honestly though, what else really needs to be said? It’s classic November 1973 Grateful Dead - amongst the best of the best by most standards, and definitely by mine. Cheers to this classic performance and it gets my very highest recommendation, must have, must hear!
Subject: Wharf Rat...
I have yet to hear a "Wharf Rat" played with so much feeling and so nearly perfect as this one in all the released material I have listened to so far, which is a lot! Can anyone tell me if I overlooked something where this particular WR shows up on CD or record somewhere I'm not aware of? Rating is for the show as a whole, nearly 100% excellent; great vibe.
Subject: Excellent First Set
November '73 was the heart of the fall tour, and the band was in fine mid-season form on this night. As others have noted, the second set jam isn't quite as exciting as the setlist would suggest, but the Eyes shuffles in with as much swagger as any version from this tour.
The first set, on the other hand, has a pedestrian setlist with some standout performances. Cumberland Blues is searing, and the China > Rider is one of my all-time favorites. Although China Cat is a little sloppy - Jerry drops into the transitional jam at 7:05, and the rest of the band doesn't catch up until the next bar - the energy is extremely high. Everything clicks during Rider, which soars to a huge climax.
This is another great-sounding board from Mr. Miller and a nice show from a consistently excellent tour.
Subject: Inconsistent with moments of excellence and moments of snooze button
Great SQ throughout, good work again Mr Miller.
Big RR, what a great way to start a show.
Jack Straw is fun and well played.
Sugaree is a bit too mellow.
Mexicali gets the energy up only a bit, but not where it could be.
HC Sunshine is again rather mellow. It does pick up the pace when they get into the jamming, which is structured and groovy. Nice version here.
BTW, Bob bungles the lyrics in the first verse. Strong finish to the song, though Bob could tone down the vox a smidge. At least he's passionate.
Cumberland hits the spot with a great intro, and the jams continue to hit the spot again and again.
Row Jimmy is nice, slow but solidly played. Sometimes this song can take on a great amount of energy, this one isn't that kind. It is the deliberate type.
Race is On
BEW has some great build ups featuring Jerry noodles.
TN Jed is well played, with Jerry and Bob dueling licks in the last moments of the jam before the final verse.
El Paso isn't where I would expect it to be. It lacks umph, though it is well played.
China>Rider has a great little transition jam. Very cohesive, not stuff with energy, but you can't find fault here. They do find a great amount of energy at the end of Rider!
Around x 2 to close out the set doesn't pack the punch we know it can.
Truckin>TOO>Big River>TOO>Eyes>TOO>Wharf Rat
Truckin goes into an extended jam after a great verses/middle jam session. This jam is, predictably, quite bluesy. It has its ups and downs. For a bit there it seems like something you'd hear in a hotel lounge.
TOO enters the scene with Garcia notes, no bombs. Energy is somewhat lacking here. It's played well, but not exciting. I need this song to start off, at least, exciting. After a couple of minutes it gets well, but where the hell is Phil? I remember reading that he was sitting down, literally. As in, on a chair. He's clearly off the mark. Jerry, however, is not. After 3 minutes they go into the official TOO theme, which falls into exploratory jamming. After 8 minutes they return to the theme, and Phil is somewhat present. The hit the verse, without any real bombs, and since Phil is AWOL Jerry heads right into exploration, and from there heads into some level of space, but it's really just Jerry showing out, the other guys are elsewhere. Weir then adds some weirdness and Billy joins the mix.
Perhaps this looseness is what enable Big River, one of only 2 times played out of TOO (the other one haha being in Lille, France, 1972). The move into the song was signalled by Jerry. He must have wanted to pump the boys up. Jerry and Billy do their best, and finally gets Keith motivated again.
On a dime Bobby sends us back into TOO. Phil seems to be awake for now. Garcia puts in more fine work here, and the band is more gelled together for this go around.
Then they go into Eyes which has again lost steam. Jerry is again great, but the others are lacking that intensity I crave. Phil gets a solo, which isn't all that bad, considering, but definitely not his best work.
TOO for the third time, which doesn't happen often. Odd they chose to do it on a night where Phil was on his own island of insignificance. Starts of a snoozer, Garcia once again pushes them, and they struggle their way through the 2nd verse.
Wharf Rat, Jerry has earned it, but he seems to have fallen into the snoozer mode too finally.
Overall, this show lacked intensity in a lot of places. Peaks and valleys, definitely a lot of great moments. For some, it will be a top show ever, for me, it is more of a paper tiger. It is still a great show, but I expected too much perhaps.
chris phillips -
Subject: mobile fidelity
This show features a really good Eyes. First set is textbook.
Everybody talks about why they like this show, and there is some stuff to like. Here's what I don't like: the setlist is boring, and my favorite 1st set song (Sunshine) is flubbed. The jamming in the 2nd set is mostly pedestrian, aside from one of the Other Ones (the one after Big River). Very unimaginative in general. The 1st set is by far the better, and there's certainly some stuff to enjoy. I'm upgrading my earlier rating, but not by much.
Subject: solid show
Garcia is in fine voice and the show is very tight. Keith's piano is soooo good during this period.
I'll argue that the HCS is good not great, def not one of the best. That flub at the end of the jam and the last verse is prominent. Overall, they are still in their heyday as a band and I could listen to fall of '73 for months on end. Great job, as always, Charlie. You're a gem of a human being.
Continuing from Winterland and on - November '73 is simply awesome to behold -
Set 1 - everything mighty fine, Jerry pulls the tension exactly where its needed on every song. Got to give the supremo-gold star in this set to Cumberland - everyone, really, you simply won't be able to sit still while this goes on. I rarely, when listening through a set, will backtrack and listen to a song again, unless there's really something special going on - this Cumberland has it all over the damned place. China Cat > Rider is a great companion piece and works beautifully late in the set.
Set 2 - just '73 gold beautiful everything - check out the Big River in the middle of all the jammy craziness - they tap right back into that boogaloo rhythm that they were so familiar with at this period. It's all fantastic. Love this show!
Subject: This show grew on me
I can understand why someone would give it 3 stars if they only heard it once, I wasn't that impressed with it the first time I listened, but it's clear now what a beautiful show this was/is. They're really in sync from the outset - Big Railroad Blues is surprisingly tight, especially for an opener. Keith's playing really stands out to my ears.
HCS - easily a contender for my top 5 favourite versions of this song. Originally I would have agreed with the poster (on a differnt version of this show) calling it sloppy, but like the whole show, it improves with more careful listening.
Cumberland Blues is smokin'; Brown-Eyed Women is inspired; China > Rider never let's me down!
Truckin' - where's Phil? Really good version, but I'm craving those bass bombs after they build-up ~6.5 min. He seems to be missing a bit in the first TOO, which lacks the urgency of other versions. This Big River popping up is pretty sweet, and I agree with clementinescaboose about the second TOO- it is a cracker!! But really the whole second set is magnificent, and the first is chock full of little gems.
You can hear little stuff-ups, but that's part of what makes this band great, and they keep at it to get us to that magic place.
I remember driving away in a daze after this concert that seemed like the Other One went on forever when someone said "Where the hell are we?"
The question was answered in a few seconds when a sign on the road said Entering Cucamonga.
The next question was, "Where the hell is Cucamonga?"
I still don't know where Cucamonga is but do sort of remember this was a concert to remember.
Dylan M -
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but if this is only a three star show... what is a five star show?
A highlight from one of the best tours the Dead ever put on.
Keith's piano and Jerry's lead tones are at there most accurate and exploratory. Phil raging like the rhythm section for an entire orchestra kills every single song (especially the Eyes solo imho). The jam segment of set 2 is simply exquisite. Don't think they ever did they "Big River" sandwich again, nice change from the more usual Other1>Me and My Uncle>Other 1. This is a perfect showcase of how amazingly the Godchaux's had fit into the Dead's sound. This is our favorite band at their peak.
Maybe I'm easy to impress, but this show is most excellent in performance quality and transfer. Undoubtedly five stars. Up there with the Winterland, Denver, and UCLA shows also from this wonderful tour.
I saw Dark Star Orchestra do this one about 3-4 years ago before I emasculated my self into the Dead's music. TWO OTHER ONE Reprises, what the fuck! First set is like 2 and half hours. Christ!
(95 outta 100)
Subject: GOO GOO GOO
Easily one of the best second sets of the year, imho, this blows 11/20 and 11/21 out of the water.
This show deserves official release.
The Truckin' goes deep, and the 2nd Other One has more twists and turns than a roller-coaster! Cool Eyes, amazing China>Rider and rockin' HCSS too!!
Graeme Sweetapple -
A really busy day in history....great shows from across the years:
71/72/78 & 87...
However if I had to make a choice it would certainly have be this gem....
The major highlight [as with most of the reviews] is a perfectly played Here Comes Sunshine... but also some very special versions of China/Rider, [an incredible]Truckin'>The Other One> Eyes of The World>The Other One.
This is a very fine show, coupled with an amazing Charlie Miller upgrade. It has a intoxicating jazz/free-form feel to it from start to finish, stretched out by some great Bill Kreutzmann drumming, who plays out some mindblowingly great 'off beat' syncopated parts that makes you just wanna get up and boogie...
A highly creative & potent period in the history of Grateful Dead & a very well played, imaginative show from the fall tour 73,miss @ peril ;-]
the here comes sunshine on this is great
black throated wind really takes off and is amazing
row jimmy jams, piano is great in there
rest of the show promises to be just as great!
Best HCS of all time plus one of the best 2nd sets ever
Subject: In the wrists, and on the road
Fall of 1973 was a brilliant time for the Dead. This show (or recording) underscores that Billy was as a vital an element in the Dead's chemistry as any. If, as Bobby said, after Mickey left Billy played like a young god, in this, their most expansively creative period, Billy played like a maturing god. That man could snap his wrists (and, as anyone who saw the Dead during the spring '09 tour or BK3 at OCF this summer knows, he still can).
The second set of this show is as good as late-73 Grateful Dead gets, and not much gets better than that. It's true musical Road Music:: from a hot-rockin' Truckin' (which goes everywhere) into the otherness of the Other One, to the banks of the Mississippi, back into Otherness, down to the Wharf, then to West Texas and Colorado, and then Goin' Down the Road itself, all revolving around and exquisite Eyes in the center. If you haven't yet taken this trip, take it.
fat lager dude -
Subject: The cat has been to the vet.
Anyone who had issues with streaming this one because China Cat Sunflower didn't play right can now feel free to stop having them. The pussy's purrin' better ever now.
At the risk of sounding like I'm sitting on the fence I'd say it's PROBABLY the best Here Comes Sunshine. Pretty good fence, but.